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AIAA SP-108-2004

Special Project - Recommended Design Practices for Conceptual Nuclear Fusion Space Propulsion Systems

This document provides recommended design practices for conceptual engineering studies of nuclear fusion space propulsion systems. Discussion and recommendations are included on key topics including design reference missions, degree of technological extrapolation and concomitant risk, thoroughness in calculating mass properties (nominal mass properties, weight-growth contingency and propellant margins, and specific impulse), and thoroughness in calculating power generation and usage (power-flow, power contingencies, specific power). This report represents a general consensus of the nuclear fusion space propulsion system conceptual design community. It is intended for technically experienced senior engineers who may not be fully cognizant of all primary aspects of nuclear fusion space propulsion system design, and who desire a useful guide in the development of credible concepts.

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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics [AIAA]


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